by Mike Masnick
Thu, Aug 20th 2009 4:34am
A few months back, we wrote about how the town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, not only had installed more surveillance cameras than many large cities, but was also allowing resident volunteers to control the cameras, which seemed to raise quite a few questions about the potential for abuse. The town insisted it was fine, because even though the screening process was "informal" it planned to "weed out voyeurs and anyone who might use the tapes for blackmail or other illegal activity." Apparently that weeding process needs a bit of work. Someone who prefers to be anonymous notes that it took a third party to notice that one of the residents approved to control the cameras had been convicted of stalking and harassment, as well as impersonating a public official, in the past. Oddly, the newspaper that wrote up the report still claims that the effort to screen the camera operators has been "a success." Oh really? The anonymous tipster also notes that the newspaper in which that article appeared just happens to have donated over $200,000 to the surveillance program while also giving the program a $2 million interest-free loan (and you thought all newspapers were broke), so perhaps it isn't the best judge of how well the program is going.
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